How many adults smoke or have smoked?
In 2014, 26 percent of Dutch people aged 18 years and over smoked; in 2019 this figure had fallen to 22 percent. At the same time, the proportion of adults who never smoked increased from 42 to 46 percent. The share of ex-smokers has remained unchanged (33 percent) since 2014.
Men are more likely to be smokers, while women are more likely never to have smoked. In 2019, 25 percent of men smoked compared with 18 percent of women. Over a third of men and just under a third of women have smoked in the past, but have now stopped. 41 percent of men and 51 percent of women have never smoked.
Fewer smokers and more older ex-smokers
Nearly 30 percent of people aged 18 to 29 years smoke occasionally, while less than 10 percent of over-75s smoke. We see more ex-smokers as people become older: 13 percent of people aged 18 to 29 years, and more than half of over-65s. The number of people who have never smoked actually decreases with age: from 58 percent among 18 to 29‑year-olds to 30 percent among 65 to 74‑year-olds. Over-75s are more likely never to have smoked than people aged 65 to 74 years (40 percent).
|18 to 29 yrs||29||12.8||58.2|
|30 to 39 yrs||26||22.1||51.9|
|40 to 49 yrs||23.4||27.6||49|
|50 to 54 yrs||23.9||28.4||47.7|
|55 to 64 yrs||21||41||38|
|65 to 74 yrs||14.1||55.7||30.2|
|75 yrs and over||7.7||52.7||39.6|
Quarter of over-25s with a low level of education smoke
People of 25 years of age and older with a low level of education (primary or pre-vocational secondary education) smoke more often than people with a high level of education (university education): 26 percent versus 11 percent. People with a low level of education are also more likely to be ex-smokers (40 percent) than those with a high level of education (30 percent). On the other hand, 60 percent of people with a high level of education say they have never smoked, compared to 35 percent of people with a lower level of education.
More smokers among people with a migration background
Twenty percent of adults without a migration background (i.e. Dutch background) smoke. This is less than among over-18s with a western or non-western migration background (both 26 percent). However, people with a non-western migration background are much less likely to be ex-smokers, and are much more likely never to have smoked than people with a native Dutch or western migration background. This is partly due to age: people with a non-western migration background are on average younger than the other two groups.